Since I had already taken leave for the day, I decided to swing by this locality after collecting my Christmas "present" at Pulau Burung earlier on in the day. Imperial Eagles are huge raptors. It is quite amazing that its plumage allows it to blend so well into the surroundings that I didn't know it was there until my moving car was almost next to it. By the time I grabbed my camera, it was already flying away from me. I swear I can even feel the breeze caused by the flapping of its enormous wings. There was an Imperial Eagle on this field a minute ago - honest!
See...I told you so!
While I was still recovering from the awesome encounter with the Imperial Eagle, a Greater Spotted Eagle circled quite low overhead. Unlike the former, it gave a most memorable performance.
When a second eagle invaded its air space, the former went into a full out battle cry...
Raptors certainly ruled the day for this location because I came across another large eagle taking off from the ground level. This time, it was a White-bellied Sea-eagle.
I also enjoyed another great performance by this eagle as well. It circled majestically in the vicinity, giving me plenty of time to capture its image. I have experienced quite a few close encounters with this particular species but I, for one, is certainly not complaining. Not when the encounters leave me utterly breathless.
When compared to the large eagles, the Black-winged Kite is on the other end of the scale. What it lacks in size is made up with grace and beauty.
Raptors are not the only large birds that call the paddy fields home. A Purple Heron in flight is equally as impressive...
This Black Drongo...
And Spotted Dove made a great trip even better with their eagerness to be photographed.
As I was making my way out of the paddy fields, I came across a murder of crows (I always wanted to use that phrase) mobbing a raptor on one of the pylon signs. I quickly rushed to the bottom of the pylon and discovered that the raptor was a dark morph Changeable Hawk-eagle.
I can recall many years back when some House Crows were mobbing a resting Peregrine Falcon in the northern coastline of Penang Island. When the falcon could not take it anymore, it took off only to turn back and dive into the crows - causing the crows to flee for their lives in every direction. Now that is what I call a bird of prey! That is also the reason why the Peregrine Falcon became one of my all-time favourite birds. Anyway, the Changeable Hawk-eagle just ignored the crows and occasionally, glancing a look over its shoulder when the crows got too close. The eagle and the crows were still at it when I decided to call it day. And what a day it has been. Looks like I got to enjoy the magic of Christmas again this year.